Dynamic, emotional, fascinating – and weighing 62 tonnes
This Is A Not-So-Special Feature Brought To You By The Month Of April
Photo above: By Bundeswehr-Fotos [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
SINGAPORE – The entire world has gone crossover mad, with sales of modern SUV/crossovers of all shapes and sizes booming like a very boomy thing.
But if everyone has bought a crossover, then what’s a hip car buyer to do? You can’t go back to sedans since your dad already has one, you’d rather shoot yourself than drive an MPV and children don’t fit on a boot rack unless you sedate them beforehand.
No one car can ever be all things to all men, even if it boasts of being a coupe, a convertible, a crossover, a croissant, a Cro-Magnon man, a Croatian, or the lost tribe of the Croatan. If you’re in the market for a crossover, don’t buy one, because we have the ultimate alternative for you. It may not be all things to all men, but it surely can be all things to one man, even if that man is very likely to be totally unhinged.
We have comprehensively listed out the things that make modern coupe-crossover-whatsits cool, we ended up finding the perfect match for all those criteria in the least likely of places: The Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank (MBT).
1. It looks bitching cool
Crossover themes include the appearance of being able to go off-road, with design features like contrast-fenders, higher suspension and bash plates. With a tank like the Leopard 2, the entire vehicle is basically a 62-tonne bash-plate. Even monster off-roaders like the Mercedes-Benz Unimog or Actros will look like Tonka trucks compared to this baby. And a 120mm main cannon will also ensure nobody will ever bring up the word ‘overcompensating’ in conversation.
2. It has no windows
Windows are not cool, glass is a sign of being totally square, at least if the modern coupe-like trends are anything to go by. Having a tall greenhouse is a total nuh-uh, so what could be cooler than a vehicle that is ALL METAL and only has tiny peep holes? It will make Ah Seng’s tinted windows looks like child’s play. Besides, with a stabilised gun sight, thermographic camera, laser rangefinder and panoramic commander’s periscope, the heck with windows. You’ll be the envy of all your friends and even be able to boast of spending more money on fuel bills than a Bugatti Veyron owner.
Swedish Army, Flickr, Creative Commons. Panserbataljonen ute på øvelse i Indre Troms. Foto Mail Waaler.
3. It’s easy to park
Sure, the Leopard 2 is 9.97-metres long, 3.75-metres wide and 3-metres tall, but who cares, some modern SUVs are impossible to see out of anyway. The fact that it’s 62.3 tonnes, or 30 time heavier than a normal car, means you do have to check the load regulation of any concrete floor, but hey, it’s got two reverse gears and can drive backwards at speeds of 31km/h. In any case, it will never not fit the lot, since it can simply make the lot fit it. And if someone steals your parking lot, you can park over him to teach him a lesson.
4. Relatively, it’s quite fuel efficient.
Well relative to an assault ship maybe. But here’s the thing: While big machines like the Leopard 2 consume fuel like people slurp oysters at an all-you-can-eat, the Leopard isn’t actually terribly fuel inefficient. Sure, it drinks something like 300L/100km while travelling on the road, which is about 50 times more than your average SUV, but as we said, sadomasochist reverse Singaporean bragging rights yo’. It’s actually quite tree-crushing, I mean, hugging, compared to the USA’s MBT, the M1 Abrams. In typical American fashion, the gas-turbine powered Abrams is the world’s heaviest MBT and consumes 400L/100km.
5. Snob value
Everyone loves a crossover now, but it’s obviously the luxury crossovers that get the hearts of local buyers beating faster, although that’s also what happens after they see the price tag. Even in the world of MBTs, you can have brand envy, since the USA, Israel, India, Korea, Japan and Russia all make their own MBTs for export. The Leopard 2, however, is made in Germany by defence company Kraus-Maffei, so it’s the MBT equivalent of a Mercedes or BMW. In true German fashion, it doesn’t even have any badges. Q-car anyone? Well, Q tank.
By Bundeswehr-Fotos (originally posted to Flickr as Leopard 2 A5) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
6. Good around town…
…or grass, or mud, or tundra, or light forest. One of the key benefits of driving a crossover is being less afraid of bumps and speed humps. But given many crossovers actually don’t ride particularly well, this is a moot point. Yet the Leopard 2 excels in urban warfare, I mean, commuting. It’s the world’s fastest MBT, able to hit top speeds of more than 70km/h. And if you go town, you’ll never go faster than that anyway right? It can handle all kinds of terrain, climbing obstacles a metre-high, wade in water up to 1.2-metres deep. Your mom never need fear she’ll get a scolding from you for dinging the rims, because the rims will ding the hell out of anything short of a bunker. If, in local parlance, you decide to mount kerb, anyhowly U-turn and drive like it’s your grandfather’s road can. Want to park in a canal, also can.
7. It’s very, very safe
I don’t know why this needs to be mentioned but yeah, if you’re not safe inside this baby, you won’t be safe anywhere. It has no real safety systems to speak of, unless you count offense as the best defense, pedestrians will probably get injured looking at the thing. Great for taxi drivers too, because you can basically drive any way you want and everyone else has to look out for you, not vice versa. No need to scared whatever crazy driver like those on SINGAPORE RECKLESS DRIVERS (shouldn’t it be Singapore Anti-Reckless Drivers? The current name sounds like a club for hooligans).
Kraus-Maffei Leopard 2
Engine 47,600cc, 48V, V12, twin-turbodiesel, multi-fuel
Power 1,500bhp at 2600rpm
Torque 4699Nm at 1600-1700rpm
Gearbox 6-speed automatic
Top Speed 72km/h
0-100km/h Not Quoted
Fuel efficiency 300L/100km
CO2 A shitload
Price from $16-million per unit
Also Consider: General Dynamics M1 Abrams, BAE Challenger 2
For more information, don’t ask us.